Being a student of any kind is not easy. You’re at that weird stage in life when you’re becoming an adult and dealing with the drama, confusion and new responsibilities that come with it. Being a fashion student is more difficult thanks to shows like MTV’s ‘The Hills’ which has created this perception that being a fashion student is easier or should not be taken as seriously as someone studying a Bcom in Accounting.
Also, just because someone is at a fashion college or studying for a degree or diploma in fashion doesn’t mean they want to be, are interested in or are studying to become a designer. Even though the first career in fashion most people are exposed to or learn about is the designer, this global multi-billion dollar industry is not just an army of designers.
In order for the fashion world to be what it is and work as well as it does there are multiple careers one can study for – Fashion Photographer, Textile Designer, Trend Analyst, Makeup Artist, Fashion Buyer, Retailer, Fashion Marketer, etc. Each of them is as important as the next with their own vital role to play.
With that, here are a few things I have learned so far in my first year as a fashion student:
1) We spend a lot of time on the internet
No matter what assignments you have for school you will need to incorporate the latest trends, developments, fashion news and since fashion never sleeps, being on sites like WGSN and the hottest blogs is like second nature.
2) We Do Dress Well
I’m not saying that a fashion school campus is a couture show, but upon my observation majority of fashion students put in more effort to how they look compared to regular varsity students. We are, afterall, in a business where looking good is very important. Your opinion of how we dress is just that, yours.
3) We Don’t Just Go To School
If you want to make it in fashion then you’ll need more than just a degree. You will need experience and connections. You’ve probably heard this a thousand times in every cliché fashion movie but it’s true. Because of this, many students have internships or entry level jobs that they have to juggle with a full-time course.
4) Stress Is second Nature
Show me a committed fashion student that isn’t stressed out 60% of the time, I dare you. Between the pressure of school, work and personal drama, we are always stressed out. Don’t let the cute selfies fool you.
5) The Pressure Never Goes Away
You know those over-achievers in high school that will always want to one up you? Well that’s what the industry is and in turn that’s what a fashion school is. Whether you are a creative or business major student or even a teacher’s pet you need to be aware there’s no room to slouch. Plus when your parents are paying for you to get an education and follow your dreams, there’s no way they’ll let you fail or get mediocre marks.
6) It Is Always A Competition
Basically, this is a cut throat world where only the strongest survive so you always need to be aware of every possible opportunity to advance because if you don’t that frienemy of yours will.
7) You Can’t Sit With Us
Mean Girls has never been so relevant. As much as we bicker and compete for scraps to add to our CVs, there’s this weird connection we have. Not saying that we’re not friends with people from outside the industry but never make the mistake of belittling us or thinking you can do what we do.
8) Again: We’re Not All Designers
I know I’m repeating myself but it’s so annoying when people find out where you study and just assume what you’re studying. No.
Hopefully this helps you better understand the life of a fashion student.